ALN logo; link to Arid Lands Newsletter Home page No. 48, November/December 2000
Linkages between Cultural Diversity and Biodiversity

Selected news of interest

compiled by Katherine Waser


Center for Sustainable Environments (CSE)established in northern Arizona

Yá'át'ééh Kinlani déé
Hello from Flagstaff. It is good.

Under the directorship of Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, Northern Arizona University's recently-established Center for Sustainable Environments (CSE) is exploring the relationships between biological and cultural diversity on the Colorado Plateau of North America. CSE's first major project is a survey, conference, and report entitled Safeguarding the Uniqueness of the Colorado Plateau: An Action Plan for Linking Natural and Cultural Diversity in Conservation Initiatives. These interwoven projects are now underway and will be completed during 2001.

CSE is interested in forming reciprocal relationships and collaborations with individuals, organizations, groups, tribes, state and federal institutions, and all people who want to know more about how biological and cultural diversity are linked to one another, especially on the Colorado Plateau. The goal of CSE's first major project is to understand the Colorado Plateau as a whole bioregion composed of many diverse pieces and unique, interrelated places. The Center hopes to work with others to help restore and conserve the Plateau's remarkable biological and cultural diversity.

CSE's initial research shows that the Colorado Plateau is one of North America's richest and most important repositories of living floristic and linguistic diversity, from endemic plants like Townsendia gypsophilia to "endemic" languages like Zuni. In fact, of the 362,000 people in the United States who are fluent speakers of an indigenous American language, more than 50% speak a language that is indigenous to the Colorado Plateau (Ethnologue, SIL International, 1996). At least six different American Indian language families are indigenous to the Colorado Plateau, including Athabascan and Uto-Aztecan. Athabascan and Uto-Aztecan languages are spoken from Alaska to Mexico.

Anyone who shares an interest in similar ideas and issues regarding cultural and biological diversity, would like to participate in CSE's Colorado Plateau survey, or would like to know more about CSE in general, is urged to contact the Center at one of these addresses:

Dr. Patrick Pynes
Bilby Research Center
Campus Box 6013
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
Tel: +1 (520) 523-8243
Email: Patrick.Pynes@NAU.EDU

Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan
Center for Sustainable Environments
P.O. Box 2700
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011
Tel: +1 (520) 523-6726
Email: Gary.Nabhan@NAU.EDU

CSE email: environment@NAU.EDU
Web site:

Rainforest Alliance accepting applications for Kleinhans Fellowship

The Rainforest Alliance is accepting applications for the Kleinhans Fellowship, a two-year position, until 31 January 2001. The Kleinhans Fellowship provides an opportunity to carry out research into the development of new markets for non-timber forest products or the expansion of existing markets. The Fellowship research area is restricted to Latin America, but projects that can be replicated elsewhere are strongly encouraged. Applications from any forest type, including dryland forests, are acceptable. The successful applicant will have a Master's degree in forestry, ecology, environmental science or an appropriate related field. Doctoral candidates or post-doctoral candidates are preferred. The fellowship provides a grant of US$15,000 per year, for two years. It does not subsidize academic tuition or fees. For more information, contact:

Sabrena Rodriguez

Upcoming conferences of interest

[Update]: Alternative Ways to Combat Desertification: Connecting Community Action with Science and Common Sense
(an International Symposium, Rural Community Interaction and Workshop)
8-20 April 2002
Cape Town, South Africa, Rural Communities and Gobabeb, Namibia

This symposium was first written up in the news column of ALN No. 46. A detailed web site concerning this symposium is now available at Interested readers are urged to bookmark this web site and visit it regularly for the latest information on activities related to this valuable symposium.

Or, contact one of the following:

Ms. Roben Penny
Woodbine, Essex Road, Kalk Bay
7975 Cape Town, South Africa
Telephone/Telefax: +27-21-788-1285

Dr. Mary Seely
Desert Research Foundation of Namibia
P.O. Box 20232
Windhoek, Namibia
Telephone: +264-61-229-855
Telefax: +264-61-230-172

Mr. Beaumont C. McClure
Special Assistant for International Programs
Bureau of Land Management, Arizona State Office
222 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85004, USA
Telephone: +1-602-417-9430
Telefax: +1-602-417-9398

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